The Ronald McDonald House program is a home away from home for families who are dealing with the emotional, physical and financial challenges of having a child in the hospital or receiving outpatient care.

But for Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) chief financial officer Kevin Lanciotti and dozens of GMC employees in many departments who act as volunteers, the Ronald McDonald House of Danville Inc. (RMHD) on the GMC campus has special meaning.

Mr. Lanciotti, president and chairman of the board of the RMHD, says that the support that families in crisis get at the facility can offer some small measure of comfort during what may be the most difficult times they will ever face.

"Your life stops when your child gets sick," Mr. Lanciotti said. "All you care about is them getting well."

For 35 years, the RMHD has met the needs of families in medical crisis with help from dedicated volunteers, partnerships with the medical community, relationships with respected companies, including local McDonald’s restaurants, and a community of generous donors.

The RMHD helps ensure that parents and families don’t have to think about all the little (but crucial) things it takes to just get from one day to the next. Families can eat, sleep and live at the facility for as long as necessary.

The RMHD relies on a small, dedicated full-time staff for many day-to-day operations, but the volunteers, including Geisinger employees and members of the Danville community, provide many of the services for the guests staying there.

"All meals are prepared and served by the volunteers," said Mr. Lanciotti, "but that is just part of it. The volunteers clean, do paperwork, staff the reception desk, help with fundraising activities and many other things. They are there for whatever the families need. We couldn’t do what we do without them."

A Ronald McDonald House Family Room, which will offer a quiet, comfortable respite place for families to rest and regroup without leaving the hospital during their child’s treatment, is currently under construction at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
Couple looking down at their baby